New Conservation District Director Eager to Protect the Environment and Support Farms | Archives

BENNINGTON – Katy Crumley, the new District Director for the Bennington County Conservation District, brings her wildlife science and agricultural background to the part-time position.

Crumley – who took over the post after Shelly Stiles, the group’s director for more than two decades, retired earlier this year – said she intended to help continue the organization’s work to protect the environment and support working farms.

The new director has worked over the past summers as a natural resources and fish and wildlife technician for the US Forest Service, handling a wide range of tasks including fish surveys, prescribed burns, l ‘maintaining roads and trails, creating maps and “releasing apple trees”. – eliminate the competing flora around the trees.

She will also continue to work this winter with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. In recent years, she has investigated endangered species – the American marten and the Canadian lynx – using hunting cameras for the state agency.

Federal and state agencies are two of the district’s many partners. Crumley believes his existing ties to them will help him succeed in his new role. “I know these people,” she said.

As part of its work, the district provides technical assistance to farmers in Bennington County, helping them develop nutrient management plans, perform water and soil samples, and locate soil resources. information.

Crumley also worked for farms. Hands-on experience transplanting, harvesting, weeding and performing other tasks for two farms over the past summers – Pleasant Valley Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Argyle, New York, and Understory Farm , a cut flower farm in Rutland County – has helped Crumley understand the challenges farmers face and appreciate the hard work they do, she said.

Jim Henderson, chairman of the BCCD supervisory board, said he “can’t say how happy he is” that Crumley has held the post, adding that he immediately felt she was “very well. adapted “.

Stiles also expressed his support for her successor, saying, “I think she will do what I did and a lot more.”

During Stiles’ tenure, the organization helped create the Batten Kill Watershed Comprehensive Invasive Species Management Association, which combats invasive species on public and private lands in the region and raises public awareness of the problem.

The district regularly associates itself with the municipalities of the territory. Over the past year, the group worked with Bennington and North Bennington to build a boardwalk for float access in Greenberg Headwaters Park, according to a backgrounder shared by Crumley.

The group partnered with Shaftsbury to complete drainage work on Trumble Hill Road and identify culverts to be replaced on Kelley Stand Road. He also found funding for the town of Rupert to adopt practices that protect the quality of the water on its garage site.

A recent tree planting project at the Merck Forest and Farmland Center to help protect a waterway involved a partnership with Merck Forest staff and students at Burr and Burton Academy. Additional buffer plantings are planned for next year.

BCCD is also in the process of redesigning and revamping its website, Crumley said.

The BCCD is one of 14 conservation districts in Vermont. More information about the group is available on its website,, and its Facebook page,

Contact Luke Nathan at [email protected]

Daniel E. Murphy